(HealthDay News) -- The best way to prevent gingivitis (gum
disease) is to practice good dental hygiene. It's never too early
to start in life, because children as young as 6 can develop gum
In addition to brushing at least twice daily and flossing at
least once each day, the Mayo Clinic suggests these tips to keep
your family's gums healthy:
- Choose the right toothbrush. Select a toothbrush with soft,
end-rounded or polished bristles -- stiff or hard bristles are more
likely to injure your gums. Some dentists recommend electric
toothbrushes with rotating or vibrating bristles because they may
be more effective at removing plaque and maintaining healthy gum
- Brush as if your teeth depended on it. To clean outer surfaces
of your teeth and gums, use short, back-and-forth, and then
up-and-down strokes. Use vertical strokes to clean inner surfaces.
To clean the junction between your teeth and gums, hold your brush
at a 45-degree angle to your teeth.
- Floss. If you're like most people, this is the part that's
usually ignored. A good alternative for non-flossers is an
antiseptic mouthwash, but it will work best when combined with
- See your dentist. Be sure to go for regular checkups and
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